2 January 2013

Venus´s girdle

Thirty-first in a series of notes and comments on The Book of Barely Imagined Beings

Chapter 22: Venus's Girdle

page 316: a translucent ribbon. A fuller description here.

page 319: As far as we can tell, most [animals] enjoy sex. We now know more that we did about the wild thing between dinosaurs. But what must it be like for echidnas, where the penis of the male has one shaft and four heads? In banana slugs, the penis emerging from the head of each of the hermaphrodites is as long as its body. Then there is the astonishing coupling of leopard slugs.

Intercourse across species boundaries can have unfortunate consequences. Alan Root tells of a crowned crane that fell in love with a standpipe. Here is a thoughtful piece about social attitudes and the law where people are involved.

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